As self-help author Wayne Dyer once said, our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made. That’s a powerful thought, because it means that your daily choices will add up to create the circumstances you desire.
Of course, the opposite can also be true. Sometimes we can make choices that lead to circumstances we don’t want. Since some of these choices are common during the teenage years, let’s talk about choices you should avoid throughout high school.
Limiting yourself to one group of friends. Developing a small group of best friends can give you the gift of a “chosen family” that sometimes lasts for a lifetime. But don’t close yourself off to new opportunities and viewpoints, either; spending time with a diverse group of people will help you develop new and insightful perspectives.
Skipping exercise. Yes, sometimes it is difficult to find the time to exercise. This is true for teenagers just as much as it is with adults. However, exercise provides you with a great source of stress relief, endorphins, and energy. It’s also really important for maintaining your healthy mind, too.
Procrastination. If you find yourself cramming all night for 8 am exams, this is a sure sign you’ve procrastinated. If you stay on top of your schedule and study a bit each night, you shouldn’t need to stress yourself out (and miss sleep) by having to catch up at the last minute.
Discussing your teachers on social media. Anything you say can and will make its way back to their ears. Some schools will actually punish students for this behavior. But even if yours doesn’t, negative remarks can still damage your reputation with teachers.
Focusing on popularity. It’s better to be yourself, than to be liked for all the wrong reasons. Plus, none of this will matter in college anyway.
Gossip. No matter how juicy the gossip is, it has a way of making the gossiper look worse than the person you’re discussing! You’ll become known as someone who can’t keep a secret, and who only spreads negative news about others. That’s not the legacy you want to leave behind in high school.
Grades and exam scores are important, but your character and personal recommendations will also matter as you apply to colleges. Keep your reputation high and your attitude positive, and your smart choices will carry long-term consequences for your life.